World Rugby CEO lauds Sydney Sevens

Sun, Jan 29, 2023, 9:58 PM
AAP
by AAP
Sydney Sevens Tournament Breakdown

Australia should learn before May if it will host a round of the revamped sevens World Series, but World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin says he's impressed by the turnout and the new stadium hosting this weekend's Sydney Sevens.

Officials said crowds of around 25,000 attended Allianz Stadium on Saturday and Sunday to witness the first World Series sevens tournament in Australia since 2020.

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New Wallabies coach Eddie Jones, who arrived in Australia on Sunday morning, was among the crowd attending the third and final day.

The sevens World Series is being remodelled for 2023-24 with the mens tournament schedule being reduced from 11 to seven, the same amount the women are playing year.

Gilpin said venues for the 2023-24 series would be determined before the current series ended in May.

"Lots of discussions including very positive discussions here with both New South Wales, with Rugby Australia," Gilpin told reporters at Allianz Stadium.

"Its great to be back in Sydney after three years, obviously we're in a new venue which is fantastic.

"Its great to see the crowds we've got here. The Australian men's and women's teams are reigning (World Series) champions, that can't hurt Sevens here.

"Last year the womens team was all-conquering in terms of Commonwealth Games, Rugby World Cup Sevens and the Series, so Australia and Sevens and what we're seeing in Sydney are a big part of the future of the sevens series and the way we use the sevens to grow the sport."

Asked if Australia would host a round of the 23-24 World Series Gilpin said: "We hope they are."

Gilpin and other World Rugby officials have also been engaged with RA this week in early planning for the 2027 mens World Cup in Australia. 

He suggested host cities for the games would likely be decided at the end of this year.

"A big part of being here with a lot of our team this weekend is about really moving planning forward with Rugby Australia," Gilpin said.

"It's a competitive environment here for attention for sport in Australia so our target is by the end of this year to have worked with all the different state and city stakeholders to get to the point where we know what venues we are going to use for what parts of the tournament and make some decisions around that.

"Part of that will be spending time with the right stakeholders coming to France and understanding for them what putting a World Cup right in a particular city looks like."

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